Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fall Touches...a quick look

I put out my fall wreath and cleaned up my porch for fall adding seasonal suggestions for Florida to hurry up with Fall already!
A quick look, sorry the pic is so bad, it was late and I have a really crappy camera.

The only thing I had to buy was the little black bird (Dollar Tree-1 buck baby!). Everything else I already owned.

Adding fall to other areas of my house was easy. A switch of pillows is all it took and some added white pumpkins:


Okay, honestly this post should be titled Spring to Fall Mantle because I'm a very busy lazy person and I didn't ever change it from before. I've just left it up because, well, I decorate when I'm in the mood and I leave it alone when I'm not.

To prove my point, embarrassingly enough, I've left an Easter sign above the inside of my door since...well, Easter (duh). And when my husband looked at my decor last night he actually commented "Oh, is Easter over now? Cuz I see that you took the sign down finally." The Bastard. LOL. (You know it's bad when your husband actually notices the decor change or lack thereof.)

So, I started with taking down the Easter sign (YEA!) and taking down the Spring Summer Mantle:

This baby is ready and waiting for lovely Fall decor.

I first started by hanging my piece de resistance, my book wreath.

This lovely was a cinch to make, only cost me 2.50 and 1 hot glue gun burn. That's a small price to pay for such a pretty piece. I'll give instructions in a later post of how I did it.

Next, it was time to add in lovely fall touches. I knew i wanted this to cost nothing so I started by shopping in my own home by laying out everything fall related I had that I might use:

Then I started with the obvious-I wanted natural so I brought in some free cut twigs from outside. Since it's not really Fall here in Florida I had to actually strip the luscious leaves off the branches for this to work. I just placed them in a dollar vase (Dollar Tree-love that place) and filled with fake cranberries I already had.
So far so good.
Then I added balance to the mantle by placing a candle and my owl to the other side. The owl and candle picked up the light color of the wreath nicely.
But I wasn't liking all the cream on one side and that dark burgundy on the other. It made it off balance. So, I tried adding some leaves to the candlestick.
Meh. They are more orange than burgundy so they still didn't seem to balance it out for me.
So, I tried my ever faithful backup to decor--books.
Books are awesome because you can find them in every possible height, color, size, etc. which can really fill in a space.

That's much better. The maroon of the books play off the cranberries well. And I like the added height the books give the candlestick. But I still needed a lighter color on the other side to balance all that cream.
There we go. That's looking good. Now my eye travels in a very relaxed fashion across the whole and doesn't pause at some glaring corner. I also added a book to this side since it also pulled the colors of the owl out. The name of the book was awesome as a running theme:

 The only thing left was to add a little warmth in the way of fake garland (nothing says warm like some fake greenery right?)

And voila! A new seasonal mantle for next to nothing. It just makes me feel all warm and cozy now. Bye-Bye Easter!

Sunday, September 12, 2010 love affair is soon to begin!

Fall is slowly approaching and, while it may still be 90 degrees in Florida, many places are starting to see the beginnings of autumn. Oh, how I miss her.

 I feel Autumn thinks I've forsaken her since I've been here in Florida. Unfortunately fall doesn't come 'round these parts until perhaps January or February. So for now I just stalk it long for it like a 10 year old girl longs to kiss Justin Beiber.

 What really got me in the mood was walking into Homegoods (one of my favorite stores) and seeing aisle after aisle of Halloween/Fall decor. UGH. I mean, it's humid and sunny in Florida (a balmy 90 degrees each day) but you'd think it should be 65 degrees out with red and yellow leaves on the ground. 

To make matters worse, I found these a-dorable cocoa and cider kitchy food items-I've been pining for fall ever since:

Aren't they sooooo cute? I love the packaging almost as much as I'll love what's inside. It's so Fall. I mean, Peanuts and autumn colors- adorable! I'm itching for the Great Pumpkin right.this.minute. I really can't wait to use these. At 4.99 each they weren't such a bad deal.

I plan on building an awesome fire in the fire pit, sitting out one chilly night and sipping on some cocoa or cider keeping toasty warm in an oversized sweatshirt and cozy socks.
That is my idea of heaven.

Now I just have to wait until it gets cold enough to actually build the fire. Hopefully it will be sometime before Halloween. But it'll more likely be nearer to Christmas before chilly weather heads our way. :(

I was so inspired by the feeling of Fall on the horizon that I went out immediately and purchased a new fall nail color. I'm wearing it right now though I'm sure it's much too early to be wearing such a dark color.Still, I just couldn't resist:
The color is OPI's William Tell Me About OPI.

I just love Fall. Please come back to my my long lost lover!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Under the weather!

I have been sick the past week and it is horrible. Of course, no one likes being sick but I am a complete baby when it comes to sickness. I can have a run of the mill cold and you'd think I had the Ebola Virus.

It has left me out of commission for the better part of the week and I'm sure my husband is wishing I'd get better, if for no other reason than his own sanity.

My days have been spent laying in bed groaning in agony and generally being pathetic. I have averaged 12-14 hours of sleep every day (okay, that's par for the course for me really). And in between my sleep I've been napping. You'd think with the amount of sleep I've been getting I should have the immune system of superman now but the cold has just recently abated. I still feel worn down so I'm taking it slow. And, of course, my house looks like this right now:

Okay, well thankfully it's not that bad (and no, this is not my house.)
But I can't wait to be back on my feet and have more energy-at least enough to keep up with the never ending pile of laundry we have.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Before & After-Front Door Makeover

As I'd said previously I've been trying to create some curb appeal with our front door area. One big step  (super easy and cheap!) was to paint our doldrum front door. Here's what I was working with:

Pretty bland, not too great as far as "appeal" goes (in my mind). It was this marroon-y brown which was just...blah.
So, I decided red was a must. I know it's nothing new or inventive but red is a tried and true color for doors which give the house some life and can really punch up the drama. So off to the store to buy supplies.
I started by priming my door (suggested by the employee at Home Depot):

Sorry for the poor pictures. It was overcast and I was lazy. It's a gray tinted primer and I believe I put on 2 coats. (first remove your door hardware).

I also decided to paint (inexpensive option) my hardware instead of replacing them (more expensive).

The hardware was this tacky brassy handle but I figured a couple of coats of black would look much better.
I bought a can of black spray paint (specifically for metal fixtures) for approx 3.00 (instead of the 25.00+ it may have cost to replace the hardware all together).

Here's the hardware after 1 coat:

Not a huge noticeable difference but after 2 more coats we were in business.

After painting 3 coats of my lovely red (I don't recall the exact color -it was Glidden) and replacing the hardware it was looking fantastic! But I still wanted to make it a little bit more special.

So, I decided to paint our house numbers on my door. Like this:

This was easy and cost me 0 dollars. Sure, I could have made it easier and purchased vinyl lettering for very little but which is better-very little or none at all? (monetarily speaking)

I started with finding a font I liked and a size that worked for my door and printed it off my computer:

Then, in order to make it easy to transfer-I shaded in the back of my picture completely- like this:

I cut around the numbers as close as possible in order to align it correctly. Then I taped it to the door, making sure that it was straight and evenly spaced:

All it required was tracing the numbers which transfers the graphite on the back of the paper to the door:

After which, I used black acryllic paint to fill in and voila!

 This process only took about 45minutes and most of that was the precision of the black paint on the door.

I also applied a coat of poly to it to protect it and it's good as new:

This project took no more than 5-6 hours total from start to finish (painting the door to stensiling to poly), though I did break it up in order to let the paint dry.

And the before and after:

Every time I look at my door now I feel happy instead of bleak and it certainly looks more welcoming rather than depressing.